At US Methanol we make sure that we handle our product with care and make sure we follow all guidelines, as well as make sure all of our employees are in a safe working environment. 

 


First Aid Measures

 

Exposure Limits                       

200 ppm TWA, 250 STEL ACGIH & OSHA

EFFECTS OF SHORT-TERM (ACUTE) EXPOSURE:

Eye Contact                    

Methanol is a mild to moderate eye irritant. High Vapor          concentration or liquid contact with eyes causes irritation, tearing, and burning. 

Skin Contact                   

Methanol is moderately irritating to the skin. Methanol can be absorbed through the skin and harmful effects have been reported by this route of entry. Effects are similar to those described in “inhalation.” 

Inhalation                        

Inhalation of high airborne concentrations can also irritate mucous membranes, cause headaches, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness, digestive and visual disturbances and even death. 

Ingestion                         

Swallowing even small amounts of methanol could potentially cause blindness or death. Effects of sub lethal doses may be nausea, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and visual disturbances ranging from blurred vision to light sensitivity.

EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM (CHRONIC) EXPOSURE:

Inhalation / Skin Contact   

Repeated exposure by inhalation or absorption may cause systemic poisoning, brain disorders, impaired vision, and blindness. Inhalation may worsen conditions such as emphysema or bronchitis. Repeated skin contact may cause dermal irritation, dryness, and cracking. 

 

 

 Medical Conditions Aggravated By Exposure Inhalation                            

Emphysema or bronchitis can be aggravated with exposure.  Methanol exposure may aggravate existing eye, skin, kidney and liver disorders. 

EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES

Swallowing                      

Induce vomiting of conscious patient immediately by giving two glasses of water and pressing finger down throat.  Drink a large amount of water, milk or sodium bicarbonate to dilute materials in stomach.  Contact a physician immediately. 

Skin                                  

Remove contaminated clothing.  Wash skin with soap and large amounts of water.  Obtain medical attention if irritation persists.  Wash clothing before reuse. 

Inhalation                          

Move to fresh air.  Give artificial respiration if not breathing.  If breathing is difficult, oxygen may be given by qualitied personnel.  Obtain medication attention. 

Eyes                                 

Flush eyes with water for at least 15 minutes.  Contact a physician immediately. 

 


Fire fighting & Explosions

Special Fire Fighting Means      

Water will not cool methanol below its flashpoint.  Use water spray to cool fire exposed containers and structures.  Avoid water streams which may splash and spread the flammable liquid.  Water spray can be used to reduce the intensity of the flames and dilute spills to a non-flammable mixture.  Fire fighters should use self-contained breaking equipment and bunker gear. 

 Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank. ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. Isolate for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.

Combustion Products               

Toxic gases and vapors; oxides; formaldehyde

Unusual Fire and Explosion     

Stay upwind.  Isolate and restrict access to area.  Vapors from this product are heavier than air and may travel a long distance along the ground and flashback.  Material can burn with little to no visible flame in the daylight.  Methanol water mixtures will burn unless very dilute.  Mixtures with 25% or more Methanol are OSHA Class I Flammable Liquids. 

Extinguishing Media          

Apply alcohol-type or all purpose-type foam by manufacturer’s recommended techniques for large fires.  Use carbon dioxide or dry chemical media for small fires. 


Accidental Release Measures

 

Small Spills                            

Do not flush spill to sewer.  Soak up spill with non-combustible absorbent material. Recover methanol and dilute with water to reduce fire hazard. Prevent spilled methanol from entering sewers, confined spaces, drains, or waterways. Restrict access to unprotected personnel. Put material in suitable, covered, labeled containers. Flush area with water. 

Large Spills                            

Do not flush spill to sewer.  If necessary, contain spill by diking. Fluorocarbon alcohol resistant foams may be applied to spill to diminish vapor and fire hazard. Maximize methanol recovery for recycling or reuse. Collect liquid with explosion proof pumps. 

Environmental Precautions     

Methanol is 100% soluble in water. Concentrations of methanol greater than 25% in water are flammable.  Methanol in fresh or salt water may have serious effects on aquatic life. A study on methanol’s toxic effects on sewage sludge bacteria reported little effect on digestion at 0.1% while 0.5% methanol retarded digestion. Methanol will be broken down to carbon dioxide and water.

 

Overview       

Flammable liquid which can bum without a visible flame. Release can cause immediate risk of fire and explosion. Eliminate all ignition sources, stop leak and use absorbent materials. If necessary, contain spill by diking. Fluorocarbon alcohol resistant foams may be applied to spill to diminish vapor and fire hazard. Maximize methanol recovery for recycling or re-use. Restrict access to area until completion of cleanup. Ensure cleanup is conducted by trained personnel only. Wear adequate personal protection and remove all sources of ignition. Notify all governmental agencies as required by law. 

Personal Protection                

Full-face, positive pressure, self-contained breathing apparatus or airline, and protective clothing must be worn. Protective firefighting clothing is not effective protection from methanol. 

 Remedial Measures               

Flammable liquid. Release can cause an immediate fire/explosion hazard. Eliminate all sources of ignition, stop leak, and use absorbent materials. Collect liquid with explosion proof pumps. The material’s fire is invisible during day.  Do not touch or walk through spilled product as it may be on fire and not visible.  Stay upwind of the material which is heavier than air and can travel large distances.


Handling and Storage

Storage                                   

Store in totally enclosed equipment designed to avoid ignition and human contact. Tanks must be grounded, vented, and should have vapor emission controls. Tanks must be diked. Anhydrous methanol is non-corrosive to most metals at ambient temperatures. Storage tanks should be designed and built in conformance with good engineering practice for the material being stored. While plastics can be used for short term storage, they are generally not recommended for long-term storage.

Incompatible Materials           

Lead, Aluminum, zinc, oxidizing agents, strong acids, strong bases, polyethylene, PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and nitrile.

Handling Procedures               

No smoking or open flame in storage, use, or handling areas. Use explosion proof electrical equipment. Ensure proper electrical grounding procedures are in place. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Avoid inhalation of vapor or mist.


Exposure Control/Personal Protection

Respiratory Protection             

Provide adequate ventilation or exhaust to meet the TLV / PEL requirements.  Supplied air or self-contained breathing equipment recommended for exposures above PEL.  Organic vapor cartridge respirators not recommended for methanol vapor exposure. 

Footwear                                 

Chemical resistant as a minimum. 

Work / Hygiene Practices        

A safety shower and eye wash is recommended in the area of use.  Wash with soap and water immediately after skin contact.  Monitoring of the air in the workplace is recommended to facilitate maintaining methanol vapors below recommended TLV.

Ventilation                                

Provide adequate ventilation or exhaust to meet the TLV / PEL requirements.  Supplied air or self-contained breathing equipment recommended for exposures above PEL.  Organic vapor cartridge respirators not recommended for methanol vapor exposures. 

Eye Protection                         

Have available and wear as appropriate chemical splash goggles or safety glasses (side shields preferred). 

Skin Protection                         

Rubber gloves and protective aprons or clothing should be used to prevent skin contact.  For operators where spills or splashing can occur, use impervious body covering and boots.


Physical and Chemical Properties

Lower Explosive Limit : 5.5%

Upper Explosive Limit : 36.5%

Specific Gravity : 0.791

Vapor Density : 1.105 at 60° F (15° C)

Evaporation Rate : 4.1 (butyl acetate = 1)

Solubility in Water : Completely soluble

Solubility in Other Liquids : Soluble in all proportions in other alcohols, esters, ketones and most other organic solvents

Partition Coefficient Log : 0.82    

 

Appearance : Clear, colorless liquid

Odor : Mild characteristic alcohol odor

Odor Threshold : 4.2 – 5960 ppm (recognition 53 – 840 ppm)

pH :  Not Applicable

Melting / Freezing Point : -144° F (-97.6° C)

Boiling Point : 149° F ( 64.7° C)

Flash Point : 51.8° F ( 11° C)

Critical Temperature : 560° F (293.4° C)

Autoignition Temperature : 867° F ( 464° C)


Stability and Reactivity

Conditions of Reactivity           

Presence of incompatible materials and ignition sources. 

Hazardous Decomposition      

Formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and flammable gases

Hazardous Polymerization       

Will not occur. 

 

Chemical Stability                     

Stable under normal conditions. 

Incompatibility                          

Avoid contact with bleach, strong oxidizers, strong mineral or organic acids, and strong bases. Contact with these materials may cause a violent or explosive reaction. Maybe corrosive to lead, aluminum, magnesium, and platinum.  PVC


Toxicological Information

Carcinogenicity                       

No component of this product present at levels greater than or equal to 0.1% is identified as a probable, possible or confirmed human carcinogen by IARC, ACGIH, NTP or OSHA.

Teratogenicity                          

This product is not anticipated to be a teratogen.

Reproductive Toxicity              

This product has been reported to cause birth defects in rats exposed to 20,000 ppm.

Mutagenicity                            

No available data.

Synergistic Products               

None Known. 

Acute Exposure                      

Poison. May be fatal or risk of blindness if swallowed.  Toxic if ingested, in contact with skin or inhaled.   

Chronic Exposure                    

Poison.  May be fatal or risk of blindness if swallowed.  Toxic if ingested, in contact with skin or inhaled.   

Exposure Limits                      

200 ppm TWA

250 STEL ACGIH & OSHA

Irritancy                                  

Dermal = 300 mg/kg

Inhalation – Vapor = 3 mg/l

Oral = 100 mg/kg

Sensitization                          

This product is not anticipated to be a sensitizer. 


Ecological Information

Bioaccumulation/Accumulation

Not Established

Chemical Fate Information       

Persistence & Degradability – Readily biodegradable.

General Comments                  

Any other adverse environmental effects, such as environmental fate (exposure), ozone depletion potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, endocrine disrupting potential, and global warming potential are indicated in this section if data exists.  Otherwise, this data has not been established. 

Environmental Toxicity             

Methanol in fresh or salt water may have serious effects on aquatic life.  A study on methanol’s toxic effects on sewage sludge bacteria reported little effect on digestion at 0.1% while 0.5% methanol hindered digestion. Methanol will be broken down into carbon dioxide and water. 

Biodegradability                       

Biodegrades easily in water. 

Terrestrial/Microorganism Toxicity

Acute : Ecological data does not exist.

Chronic : Ecological data does not exist. 


Disposal Considerations

Product                                    

Burn in a chemical incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber but exert extra care in igniting as this material is highly flammable. Offer surplus and non-recyclable solutions to a licensed disposal company. Contact a licensed professional waste disposal service to dispose of this material.   

General Comments                  

Review federal, provincial, or state and local government requirements prior to disposal. Store material for disposal as indicated in Section 7 “Handling and Storage”. Disposal by controlled incineration or by secure land fill may be acceptable. Prevent entry into sewers, drains, ditches, underground or confined spaces and waterways.

 

Contaminated Packaging         

Dispose of as unused product.